Knowing how to measure a saddle gullet is an essential skill you need to acquire whether you are a horse owner or planning to be one. However, there are no set guidelines for measuring saddle gullets. Most saddle gullets are measured while being cut from saddle trees, not after.
Why Do Horses Need a Saddle Gullet?
Getting the right saddle gullet for your horse will ensure that you and your horse are comfortable and safe to enjoy the ride. Consider your saddle gullet a good fit if it has an allowance of two to four finger widths between the saddle and the withers.
How to Measure a Saddle Gullet
Step 1: Keep Your Horse Still
Have your horse stand on a flat surface and make sure they sit still. Without using a saddle pad, place the saddle gullet on the back of your horse. The saddle should be level from front to back and from both sides. Also, let the saddle gullet cover the withers, resting at two inches below the highest point of the withers. Ensure that you leave a gap between the bottom of the saddle gullet and the top of the withers.
Step 2: Measure the Length and Width
Put your hand between your horse’s wither and the saddle to measure the length. The space between the saddle gullet should be two to three fingers.
Step 3: Adjust the Fit
Adjust the saddle until you get the perfect fit. Test a different saddle if the saddle doesn’t rest on the horse’s wither properly. Moreover, settle on the one that works well for you and your horse.
Step 4: Determine the Bars and Angles
How close the saddle will be to the horse’s wither is determined by the angle, which is controlled by the bars. Ensure that the saddle connects with the horse’s wither along the length and width to avoid unnecessary movement or pressure on your horse’s back.
Step 5: Verify Measurements
After you are sure about the measurements, it’s time to choose a saddle gullet. Verify the gullet measurements and bar angles from the saddle manufacturer and pick the one that fits your horse.
A saddle gullet is what determines the comfort for you and your horse. For example, a wide saddle rests directly on the horse’s wither, placing your weight squarely on your horse’s spine. As a result, your horse might experience discomfort and pain. Additionally, a narrow saddle will pinch your horse’s withers. Consequently, this could result in pressure sores caused by the friction between the saddle pad and the horse’s spine. In short, learning how to measure a saddle gullet is vital for horse owners.